OBITUARY

Edna M. Chappel

October 20, 1935May 2, 2021
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Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend and caring angel in the nursing profession, Edna Murphy Chappel, 85, completed this life’s journey on May 2, 2021.

Edna was raised in a farming family in Alabama and enjoyed a lifelong passion for gardening. She was known to create amazing vegetable plots even in small spaces and always grew the best collards in the land. Her fig trees were legendary and many a summer was made even hotter by cooking up jam for canning. Edna saved her money as a teen to realize her desire to become a nurse, graduating from Sacred Heart Nursing School in Pensacola, Florida. With her first paycheck from nursing she proudly purchased a fine china set from the jewelry store, still used today for special occasions!

As a registered nurse, Edna joined the Air Force with some girlfriends to “see the world,” later joking that her post after initial training was to Biloxi, Mississippi—very close to her hometown of Florala, Alabama. The Air Force introduced her to James, her surviving husband of 60 years. Jim and Murph, as he called her, left the Air Force to build a life with daughter Linda Chappel, now of Durham, North Carolina and son James Chappel of Columbus, Georgia.

As a working mother, Edna returned to school and earned her B.S. in Nursing from Columbus State University in 1979, the first woman in her family to complete a college degree. She also graduated from Emory University in 1982 with an advanced degree to become one of the Muscogee County Health Department’s first Family Nurse Practitioners. She was proud to have been in the forefront of HIV care in Columbus in the early years of the disease and was passionate about public health. Her career was trailblazing and served as an example for commitment to care.

Being a grandmother was her true vocation and her boys, Tyler, Thomas and Patrick Chappel were like gold to her. She was forever enamored of their accomplishments. She was also blessed with lifelong friends, especially Mary Miller and the ladies in the retired nurses Coffee Club. Edna was preceded in death by her cherished mother Dora Bass Murphy and her father Everett and siblings, Alton, Dorothy, Lilly Mae and Bobby.

Our family thanks the many kind friends, companion caregivers and the hospice team who shared their love in the years in which Alzheimer’s disease tested our strength. Edna will be remembered for her humor, strong opinions, holiday dressing recipe, and most of all love.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a memory care organization such as the Duke Dementia Family Support Program, https://dukefamilysupport.org/giving. Donations can also be mailed to: Duke Dementia Family Support Program, Box 3600 DUMC, Durham, NC 27710.

For those who wish to pay their respects, there will be visitation from 2:00 - 3:00 pm at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, Columbus, GA on Sunday, May 9, 2021 with services to follow at 3:00 pm. Burial will be on Monday, May 10, 2021 at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery at 1:00 pm.

  • FAMILY

  • Dora Bass Murphy, Mother (deceased)
  • Everett Murphy, Father (deceased)
  • Alton, Sibling (deceased)
  • Dorothy, Sibling (deceased)
  • Lilly Mae, Sibling (deceased)
  • Bobby, Sibling (deceased)
  • James, Husband
  • Linda Chappel, Daughter
  • James Chappel, Son

Services

  • Visitation for Family and Friends

    Sunday, May 9, 2021

  • Celebration of Edna's Life

    Sunday, May 9, 2021

Memories

Edna M. Chappel

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Leigh Zaleon

May 9, 2021

My thoughts and prayers are with the Chappel family today.

Amy Oliphant

May 7, 2021

As a retired nurse, I first met Edna in Durham when she was here with Kimbto visit Linda. Shehad a seeg , caring but no nonsense disposition as do many nurses. I appreciate that about her and could see where some of Linda’s decoration skills and care for fine things came from. She lived her family in every way that she knew.

Amy O

Brenda Giefing

May 6, 2021

I will always remember how welcome she made us her extended family as we all still had connections no matter the circumstances and celebrations of each other accomplishments to share and make memories I know we all will forever cherish! Our hearts and prayers go with the Chappel family as Mrs C is taken home and surround each of us with peace of our Lords love!

Chauncey Walker-Whiting

May 6, 2021

Condolences and prayers are extended to the Chappell family.

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